Jack Butland signed for Stoke City back in 2013 after they paid Birmingham City £3.5m for his services.
Since then the young goalkeeper has only made six English Premier League appearances for ‘The Potters’.
Butland has spent the majority of his time either being understudy to Asmir Begovic at the Britannia Stadium or has been loaned out to Championship sides.
This summer as Jack captained the England Under-21 side in the Czech Republic, Bosnian international Begovic has been heavily linked with a big money move away from the West Midlands club.
Reports suggest that Premier League champions Chelsea are on the verge of taking Begovic to Stamford Bridge. Stoke seem eager to pocket at least £8m plus a Blues player coming on a season long, as Asmir only has a year left to run on his current contract.
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has already planned for life without the extremely talented shot-stopper Begovic protecting his team’s goal. The former Wales boss has snapped up Danish youth international Jakob Haugaard from Danish Superliga champs FC Midtjylland this summer.
Stoke forked out around £600k for the Dane and he has came in to add stiff competition in the goalkeeping department.
But if Begovic does leave this off-season then it will surely be Butland that gets the nod to prove himself as the number one choice for next term.
Interestingly the twenty-two year old English goalie started three out of the last four games during the 2014-15 campaign.
It was as if Hughes was readying the keeper for what was to come this up and coming season. Butland impressed in those outings and kept two cleansheets.
Hughes himself praised Jack after those games:
“Jack is progressing really well and I’m really pleased. In the last three games he’s arguably got better with each game. That’s what I thought he would do when I decided to bring him in and give him his chance.
“It was important he played in games that meant something and that’s why I put him in.”
Like Joe Hart before him, Jack Butland seems destined to impress as a young English goalkeeper in the Premier League.
But for that to happen, he needs to make the most of his impending opportunity at the Britannia. He’s proved himself a commendable performer during his loan moves and his limited league appearances with Stoke, though he will now need to prove that week in and week out in England’s top flight.
As a keeper Butland stands at six foot five, so that offers a big presence between the goalposts. He is also level headed, quick and very agile. Really he has all the makings of a top class goalkeeper.
Jack will be keen to make a big impression next season and force his way back into the England set-up in time for next summers Euro 2016 tournament in France.
Hughes and England’s Roy Hodgson will be looking on in August and hoping that Jack Butland can realise his promise.
Looking at the young assured shot-stooper you’d like to think he will rise to the task with distinction. But only time will tell if he can finally hold down a starting spot in the Premier League and show off his undoubted qualities.